We still have weeks before we will see the first episode of the new season of Project Runway. With the release of the names of the designers, though, we can start getting to know the stories behind the faces who will bring us the fashion in season 4.

We have put all the names into that Vincent Libretti basket hat from season 3, and selected our first designer at random.

Everyone, say hello to Rami Kashou.

And just who is Rami Kashou? Well, he might just very well be a strong contender in this season of Project Runway, but let’s start at the very beginning, shall we? 

His own Myspace page outlines his beginnings: “Born on May 11th 1976 in the city of Jerusalem, Kashou left his hometown of Ramallah soon after graduating from high school in 1996 and moved to the United States.”

An interest in fashion was started early with Rami by “an eclectic and fashionable mother.” So when he came to the States, he initially went to school for design, but seemed to soon decide he would prefer to get his education on the job. He worked as a buyer for retail, but after a trip to Europe, decided to get in on the design action himself. He bought two sewing machines and studied pattern-making at vintage boutiques, learning from the clothes themselves. He has said, “I would buy a piece and take it apart and inspect it, then I would learn.”

His design career has grown, and he has become a destination runway show, with several seasons at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week at Smashbox Studios, and a GenArt scholarship that allowed him to show at Bryant Park in 2003.

That wasn’t the only honor Rami has received for his work. He was also recently nominated for the Moss Adams Fashion Innovator Award at the LA Fashion Awards.

He has been having commercial success in addition to his critical reception. His work is being sold in “notable boutiques,” and has been featured in magazines like InStyle, People and Us Weekly. His experience as a buyer taught him that a great way to showcase your work is to get a celebrity to wear it. He’s dressed such stars as Jessica Alba (that’s one of Rami’s to the right there), Jennifer Lopez, Portia De Rossi, Fergie, Amy Smart, Lucy Lui, Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, and Penelope Cruz.

Tyra Banks is apparently a fan as well. She featured Rami and his Spring/Summer 2007 line on her daily talk show as an upcoming designer to watch. She appreciated his fifties-inspired feminine, yet tailored clothes, and especially liked his comments that he likes to create designs that allow women to stay a little covered up if they so choose; his figure-flattering dresses (such as the one to the left below which he told Tyra he thought would look great on her) manage to be sexy without being totally revealing.

The list of some of his favorite performers shows a sensibility that is echoed in his clothes: Madonna, Bjork and Tori Amos are all women performers who have managed to find a way to present themselves as unmistakably feminine without compromising an image of strength. They might be sexy but they are never simplistically submissive. His favorite designers have this aesthetic as well: Alexander McQueen, Victor & Rolf, and Olivier Theyskens. But he says it’s not the celebs or designers that are his true inspiration – it’s actually his own group of friends who help give him ideas for his creations.

So while we’ve just started our review, it looks like Rami just might be a front-runner heading into the competition.

And it’s not just our opinion: Rami actually came onto the show at the urging of Tim Gunn after, due to personal reasons, he had turned down the opportunity to appear on Project Runway in an earlier season.

Amanda Field, model from season 3 of Project Runway, has walked in Rami’s show, and gave this bit of insight to fansite Blogging Project Runway: “Rami Kashou has a great shot at winning or at least of going to Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. His work is flawless and the fit is very complimentary. Not sure how he is in a time crunch, but from the work I have seen, keep an eye on him!!”

You heard the model! Keep your eye on Rami, but come back here on Wednesday to learn about the next contender. 

– Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist

Source: BravoTV, BloggingProjectRunway.com, myspace.com/ramikashou, ramikashou.com
(Images. courtesy of BravoTV, myspace.com/ramikashou, ramikashou.com)


Staff Columnist, BuddyTV